IEA Bioenergy Annual Report Highlights Risks and Opportunities of Bioenergy

12 February 2012: The 2012 Annual Report of the International Energy Agency's Implementing Agreement on Bioenergy (IEA Bioenergy) features an article on "Biomass Feedstocks for Energy Markets," and provides an overview of activities of the Executive Committee (ExCo) and the 12 ongoing Tasks during 2012.

The feature article reviews risks and opportunities of bioenergy, including impacts on land use change and water supply. It also argues, inter alia, that bioenergy can offset greenhouse gas emissions of fossil fuel-based energy systems and lead to increases in ecosystem services. The article further discusses bioenergy sustainability certification and argues that the same sustainability criteria should be applied regardless of whether biomass is used as bioenergy feedstock or for other purposes. The article also discusses challenges in mobilizing sustainable bioenergy supply chains, including: Developing competitive feedstock supply and value chains; quantifying the positive and negative environmental and socio-economic consequences;  assessing the effects of sustainability risk mitigation techniques on feedstock availability and cost; and developing governance mechanisms that provide sound operating conditions for participants along the supply chains.

The report further provides an overview of achievements and activities of the ExCo, including: The appointment of a new Secretary and Fund Administrator ; the extension of the Implementing Agreement to 31 December 2014; information on contracting parties and new participants; task and secretariat budgets; information on the strategic plan, communication strategy, and the use of strategic funds for policy-relevant outputs;  an overview of 2012 seminars and workshops; and collaborations with the Advanced Motor Fuels Implementing Agreement, the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Bioenergy Association, and the World Bank.

The report further provides progress reports on each of the 12 ongoing bioenergy Tasks during 2012, which include: Task 29 on Socio-economic Drivers in Implementing Bioenergy Projects; Task 32 on Biomass Combustion and Co-firing; Task 33 on Thermal Gasification of Biomass; Task 34 on Pyrolysis of Biomass; Task 36 on Integrating Energy Recovery into Solid Waste Management; Task 37 on Energy from Biogas; Task 38 on Greenhouse Gas Balances of Biomass and Bioenergy Systems; Task 39 on Commercialising Liquid Biofuels from Biomass; Task 40 on Sustainable International Bioenergy Trade: Securing Supply and Demand; Task 41, Project 3 on Fuel and Technology Alternatives for Buses; Task 41, Project 4 on Biomethane in Heavy Duty Engines; Task 42 on Biorefineries: Co-production of Fuels, Chemicals, Power and Materials from Biomass; and Task 43 on Biomass Feedstocks for Energy Markets. [Publication: IEA Bioenergy Annual Report 2012]